Muse Presents Neo-Classical-Rock Products at Arena in Los Angeles


Pioneer Matt Bellamy reminded audiences that Muse made their eighth visit to the Arena in downtown Los Angeles shortly after the trio’s comeback engagement on Thursday night. music band. He jokingly added a muttering reference to “strange making out with artists,” possibly a reference to his lack of belief in the state of cryptocurrency. Digital assets are flying away, but office supplies are forever, right? There spouse It’s a kind of loose analogue—not pun intended—to the situation with Muse, who have forever used futuristic imagery in their shows, but reigned as one of rock’s best bands with their roots in a somewhat pre-digital past.

Or pasts, plural. Stap—…er, when you look at the full house in Crypto, you can tell that the audience is definitely cross-generational, no matter what. But the two primary generations were, first, people who grew up on KROQ as kids in the last true heyday of alt-rock in the ’90s and 2000s, and then, secondarily, the lower generation before it was a bit older. Not even Bellamy, 44, who sees Muse as possibly the last major link in a chain that goes back to 1970s classic rock or pomp-rock. There were children or relatives’ children as well, but most in the company of fathers who wanted to show them what rock shows were like and were probably happy to be able to take them to a place where the real man was. did not force or pass stage 80. (Or putting the Star of David on a pig.)

But why spend so much time looking at the crowd demographic when Bellamy and company have so much for you to look at on stage? They actually did a more elaborate staging; There were no drones this time. And they’ve done less, too, but only at short-term, promotional events, like the bare-bones mini tour that led them to visit nearby Wiltern for an album launch last October. But that’s a lot compared to what almost everyone who is neither a pop superstar nor a possible anti-Semite does. The “Will of the People” Tour (named after the band’s ninth album, released in August) replaces and doubles as the giant sinister robot hovering raw, with two giant inflatable boats as the main points of visual interest and glamour. on the “Simulation Theory” tour four years ago. Anyway, speaking of bloats, how you feel about warm weather in general will likely be indicative of how you feel about Muse in particular.

In particular, when it comes to the highly oxygenated emissions of one of the talented male singers, Bellamy, I would be brazenly in favor. A Bono with several Pavarotti genes added to his DNA. Even if he has to sing “Madness”, the biggest rock power ballad of the last 25 years, half a step below the record, its three-octave range is great to watch audibly, at least if you’re not, harboring a long-standing grudge against passion. (He’s also a guitar hero, no coincidence—the 19-second guitar solo in “Madness” sounded better and more exciting than ever.) Muse’s songs have a kind of formula—most, if not all, of “hits”—pessimistic, It includes a structure from a moody verse to a dubious, ascending front chorus, and an explosive climax that is almost as much an aria as a rock chorus. Then rinse and repeat twice! During a 22-song set like in Los Angeles, you keep thinking that Muse hit his scroll too early by putting the most dramatically satisfying song on the set too early, then reminding you likewise there are five more. getting down from the spear is instinctively exciting and they still haven’t reached far flow “Starlight” and “Knights of Cydonia” are hour-piercing climaxes. In that respect, it’s a bit like the “John Wick 4” of rock shows.

Matt Bellamy (Chris Willman/Variety) of Muse at Arena

However, like any good John Wick director, they also know how to construct musical action sequences with a wide variety of formulas. And so on set, as equal highlights, there are less raunchy songs about the big structure—like “Plug In Baby” late in the show, where the riff they keep coming back to is really more of a chorus. The chorus or naive pop-funk falsetto of “Supermassive Black Hole” has a once cynically descending hook instead of trademark rise. Other dynamics ensure that musical martial arts do not stand at a fixed height. One of these built-in lulls is a purely instrumental alternate version of “The Dark Side” performed by co-member Dan Lancaster as a David Gilmour-like mood piece instead of the less satisfying, hyper-pop vocal on slide guitar. Version existing in the primary edition of 2018’s “Simulation Theory”. (Lancaster did a pretty good job of keeping his cool, as Bellamy was going to give up the stage once again to the assistant shortly after this guitar show—not for another instrumental, but so Lancaster could propose to his girlfriend. He said yes.)

There were also some FX-filled videos that offered a conceptual continuity to the concert and visual waves of the upcoming giant stage set while giving a break from the action, heightening the grandeur and state of everything. In the first of these episodes, there was a rebel wearing a mask of mirrors compressed by a tall, oddly uniform, horned figure representing Adam. Several songs in the show, the face of the man in the mirror mask appeared at the back of the group. As the first giant swelling of the night, his head moves slightly to the right or left. When bis time came, he was replaced by his nefarious nemesis, the horned, bossy bastard, possibly inspired by “Fantasia”, and his giant gloved hands stretched out on either side of the gigantic stage. Did his eyes glow in the dark at the appropriate moments? Of course they did. Without a doubt, it was incredibly cheesy. But if you’re a fan of Iron Maiden and seeing this giant guy burst onto the stage is as natural as seeing Eddie in your nightly dreams, you might not think so.

Muse and friend at Arena (Chris WIllman/Variety)

To accept something as silly as these giant inflatable toys means to accept Bellamy as a little contradictory at times. He’s the man who has no shame in ’80s horror movies and video games, and can explain at length the intricacies of changing global politics. (On this tour, they perform the final song “You Make Me Feel Like Halloween”, a tribute to John Carpenter and Stephen King, before Bellamy sits on an organ and knocks out “Toccata and Fugue in D minor.” it can only be considered comedy.) And he’s the guy who said it. Variation Last year, he could write good music, more Enya-style, if left alone, but he also loves Rage Against the Machine so much that you wouldn’t believe the head-nodding side of Muse wasn’t his first and last love. If you’re going to love some of what Muse does, you’ll get it all—the sense of life-and-death significance implied in many of his best songs, and the old-school showmanship that comes with it. Of course, if you have any nostalgia for giant teacher puppets and things like that that won’t leave the kids alone, and you don’t mind seeing the theatricality transferred to the present, it’s easier to take on the whole issue.

Indeed, for all the videos and balloons, Muse’s is a much simpler rock show than these visual enhancements might make you believe. I caught the trailers at Wiltern last fall, with no props or special effects, just great emphasis on their most aggressive parts – and I didn’t think this return to their regular, full-size productions would be so satisfying. In fact, it was, even the presence of a ramp meant that Bellamy was spending less time than usual as the visual power trio alongside the band’s great bassist Christopher Tony Wolstenholme or outstanding drummer Dominic Howard. In some ways, despite the elaborate lighting and equipment, it felt like a return to the arena shows of the ’70s that preceded the onset of massive decor and effects.

One of the most ironic things about it was how many of the show’s bells and whistles were downright primitive things that have historically delighted audiences. Very very early in the show, long, colorful streamers released. When was the last time you saw streamers at a concert? A few songs later it was confetti. When was the last time you saw confetti? Well, probably much newer than publishers, but Still. And from there, the group … switched to a profit effect. No wonder Bellamy prefers to call the place the Staples Center rather than Crypto: While he’s as digitally thoughtful and forward-thinking as a man who spends part of the evening in a suit with LED lights, he keeps the best of the era alive. paper products.

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